Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
Comets are the frozen leftovers from the formation of the solar system, the characteristics of a comet can be described as an object in space that looks like a bright star with a tail and that moves around the sun. Comets have always been a matter of interest for scientists and astronomers as they hold clues about the formation of the universe. In the past decade, astronomers have discovered a new colossal object that is bigger than any other comet on the outskirts of the Solar System and it is slowly approaching it.
Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein was first observed in the year 2014 by the Dark Energy Survey and was named "2014 UN271". Estimated to be between 100 to 370 kilometres in width astronomers and scientists considered it to be a dwarf planet at first has now been classified as a comet. The comet orbiting around the sun at a much greater distance as compared to Neptune, the eighth and final planet in our solar system, hence the comet was originally termed as a trans-Neptunian Object or TNO.
Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.
However, on 22 June 2021, Tim Lister at the Las Cumbres Observatory in Sutherland, Luca Buzzi at the SkyGems reported the Cometary activity from the "dwarf planet". The planet had changed over the years and has developed the iconic features of a comet i.e. a "tail" and a coma the stream of dust and gas as the surface evaporates due to the heat and radiation as a comet approaches the sun. The status of the colossal object was changed from a dwarf planet to a comet in an official statement on June 23 it said, "The comet is now known as Comet C/2014 UN271, or Bernardinelli-Bernstein after its discoverers, Pedro Bernardinelli, University of Pennsylvania graduate student and astronomer Gary Bernstein."
"We have the privilege of having discovered perhaps the largest comet ever seen — or at least larger than any well-studied one — and caught it early enough for people to watch it evolve as it approaches and warms up," Bernstein said in a June 25 statement from the National Science Foundation's National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory, or NOIRLab.
Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein takes approximately 5.5 million years to complete its one orbit. NASA JPL
As reported on 14 September, The Las Cumbres Observatory detected an outburst of 2014 C/UN271 on 9 September 2021. The comet brightened by 0.65 magnitudes compared to images taken earlier that day. At the time, the comet was 19.89 Astronomical Units (3.0 billion km) from the Sun and 19.44 Astronomical Units (2.9 billion km) from Earth. Astronomers believe comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein originated from the Oort Cloud which is a very distant region of space thought to be like a bubble enveloping our solar system made up of trillions of pieces of icy space debris and that it has always been in our solar system. The comet orbit around the sun and as per the calculations of the Minor Planet Center it takes approximately 5.5 million years to complete its one orbit.
The comet is approaching the Sun at a distance between 19 Astronomical Units (2.8 billion km) and 21 Astronomical Units (3.1 billion km) and will reach its perihelion (the point in the orbit of a planet, asteroid or comet that is nearest to the sun.) of 10.9 Astronomical Units which is just outside of Saturn's orbit in January 2031. This will be the closest it will get to the Earth, then it will move back out to the distant regions of our solar system. Even though it will be in our solar system it will be about a billion miles from Earth at that point.
A team of US scientists has developed a new approach to determine how dusty Mars ice really is, and whether it could melt.
Mars is a dusty planet, so much of its ice is also dusty and much darker than fresh snow we might see on Earth. The dustier the ice is, the darker and thus warmer the ice gets, which can affect both its stability and evolution through time. Under certain conditions, this might also mean that the ice could melt on Mars.
The team from Universities of Arizona State and Washington combined data from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter with computer simulations to successfully match the brightness of Martian ice and determine its dust content. Their results have been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. "There is a chance that this dusty and dark ice might melt a few centimetres down. And any subsurface liquid water produced from melting will be protected from evaporating in Mars' wispy atmosphere by the overlying blanket of ice," said Aditya Khuller, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University.
It is widely believed that Mars has experienced multiple ice ages throughout its history, and it looks like the ice being exposed throughout the mid-latitudes of Mars is a remnant of this ancient dusty snowfall,.Wikimedia
Based on their simulations, the team predicted that the ice dug up by the Phoenix Mars Lander formed by dusty snowfall, sometime over the last million years, similar to other ice deposits found previously across the mid-latitudes of Mars. "It is widely believed that Mars has experienced multiple ice ages throughout its history, and it looks like the ice being exposed throughout the mid-latitudes of Mars is a remnant of this ancient dusty snowfall," Khuller said. For next steps, the team hopes to further analyse ice exposures on Mars, assess if the ice could actually melt, and learn more about Mars' climate history.
"We are working on developing improved computer simulations of Martian ice to study how it evolves over time, and whether it might melt to form liquid water," Khuller said. "The results from this study will be integral to our work because knowing how dark the ice is directly influences how warm it gets." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Mars, dust, snow, planet
Issues like global warming and climate change are increasingly gaining traction all around the globe. Due to this, individuals are shifting to more eco-friendly lifestyles. To do this, people have started taking small steps towards changing their way of living. One such step to sustainability is switching to renewable energy and power resources.
People all over the world have started using green energy in their homes as an alternative to electrically generated power. This switch has helped reduce and eliminate the pressure on non-renewable sources, which in turn helps protect the environment.
Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.
Solar power systems are the best and most consumer-friendly methods to achieve clean energy for your household. Homeowners around the globe have started using renewable energy sources like solar panels for homes to fulfill their energy needs. Besides, it is one of the most accessible and easiest ways to switch towards a sustainable lifestyle.
What are Solar Panels?
Using solar panels for homes is among the most practical ways of generating renewable and green energy. In addition, they are the backbone of solar backup systems. Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells which helps convert sunlight into electricity for multiple applications. They are two types of solar panels that are widely used – monocrystalline PERC solar panels and polycrystalline solar panels.
•Monocrystalline PERC solar panels are visibly thick and very smooth on the surface. This is because these cells are cut from one crystal of silicon. This single crystal slice is harder to produce in India, which makes its price higher.
ALSO READ: Inspired by Sunflower, Solar Energy 'Flower'
•Polycrystalline solar panels for homes are more pocket friendly and easier to manufacture within the country. These cells contain a large number of crystals, as it is cut from a block of silicon.
When it comes to choosing the ideal solar panels for your household, the type and capacity of the solar panels needed can be decided according to the size and layout of the area they are to be installed in.
There are multiple advantages to having a solar panel for homePixabay
Advantages of Solar Panels
There are multiple advantages to having a solar panel for home. Solar panels are extremely beneficial for the environment due to their eco-friendly nature, but can also benefit us by maximizing our savings. Some of the most useful advantages of installing solar panels for home are mentioned below.
Solar panels for home use the energy of the sun, which can be utilized again and again for generating electricity. Thus, solar panels are highly beneficial to the planet because they do not produce or release any greenhouse gases. In addition, using solar panels makes the household completely independent in terms of energy and power supply, besides being supportive of green energy.
•Savings on Electricity Bills
As solar panels are priced at slightly higher rates, people think of them as a huge investment. The truth is that with a solar panel for home, you can start saving money from the first day. It helps you decrease the electricity bill by more than half and gives great long term returns. You can calculate the exact savings you will incur by switching to a solar panel for home with the help of online calculators.
Solar panels for homes are extremely low maintenance and durable. Moreover, most solar panels come with a performance warranty period of around 25 years. With this kind of performance warranty period and durability, solar panels tend to generate electricity for a long time, in many cases, up to 30-40 years.
•Increases Home Value in Real Estate
Solar panels for home are extremely long-lasting in nature. Most of the solar panels come with 25 years of performance warranty service, as mentioned earlier. Therefore, if you ever plan on selling the house you install solar panels in, you can get a good price on the house due to the solar panels.
Your Way Forward
It is evident that going solar does not only benefit the environment, but also offers several advantages to you. With the correct provider, it is easy to find the perfect solar panel for home and enjoy a hassle-free installation procedure.
Amongst the many, trusted brands like Luminous that specialize in providing solar power systems that come backed with the latest technologies and deliver optimum performance. So, head on to their website to find the perfect solar panel for home now!
Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and include some commercial links)
Jupiter's clouds have water conditions that would allow Earth-like life to exist, but this isn't possible in Venus' clouds, according to the groundbreaking finding of research led by Queen's University Belfast scientists. For some decades, space exploration missions have looked for evidence of life beyond earth where we know that large bodies of water, such as lakes or oceans, exist or have previously existed.
However, the new research shows that it isn't the quantity of water that matters for making life viable, but the effective concentration of water molecules -- known as 'water activity. The new study also found that research published by an independent team of scientists last year, claiming that the phosphine gas in Venus' atmosphere indicates possible life in the sulphuric acid clouds of Venus, is not plausible. Through this innovative research project, Dr. John E. Hallsworth from the School of Biological Sciences at Queen's and his team of international collaborators devised a method to determine the water activity of atmospheres of a planet.
ALSO READ: Space X Crew Capsule Successfully Docks At International Space Station
Using their approach to study the sulphuric acid clouds of Venus, the researchers found that the water activity was more than a hundred times below the lower limit at which life can exist on earth. The research also shows that Jupiter's clouds have a high enough concentration of water, as well as the correct temperature, for life to exist there. The study has been published in Nature Astronomy.
This striking view of Jupiters Great Red Spot and turbulent southern hemisphere was captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft.Wikimedia Commons
Hallsworth said: "Our research shows that the sulphuric acid clouds in Venus have too little water for active life to exist, based on what we know of life on earth. We have also found that the conditions of water and temperature within Jupiter's clouds could allow microbial-type life to subsist, assuming that other requirements such as nutrients are present.
"This is a timely finding given that NASA and the European Space Agency just announced three missions to Venus in the coming years. One of these will take measurements of Venus's atmosphere that we will be able to compare with our findings."
Co-author of the report, an expert on physics and chemical biology of water, Dr. Philip Ball, commented: "The search for extraterrestrial life has sometimes been a bit simplistic in its attitude to water. As our work shows, it's not enough to say that liquid water equates with habitability. We've got to think too about how earth-like organisms actually use it -- which shows us that we then have to ask how much of the water is actually available for those biological uses."
Co-author of the report, NASA-based planetary scientist Prof. Christopher P. McKay, said: "We derive water activity of atmospheres without a model of any sort, based only on direct observations of pressure, temperature, and water concentration."
ALSO READ: A Dozen New Moons Found Orbiting Jupiter
Intricate Clouds of Jupiter.Wikimedia Commons
Hallsworth added: "We have also performed calculations for Mars and earth and show that these calculations can be done for planets outside our solar system. While our research doesn't claim that alien (microbial-type) life does exist on other planets in our solar system, it shows that if the water activity and other conditions are right, then such life could exist in places where we haven't previously been looking."
Co-authors of this paper include planetary scientist Christopher P. McKay (NASA Ames Research Center, CA, the US); atmosphere chemistry expert Thomas Koop (Bielefeld University, Germany); expert on physics and chemical biology of water Philip Ball (London, the UK); biomolecular scientist Tiffany D. Dallas (Queen's University Belfast); biophysics-of-lipid-membrane expert Marcus K. Dymond (the University of Brighton, the UK); theoretical physicist Maria-Paz Zorzano (Centro de Astrobiologia (CSIC-INTA), Spain); micrometeorology and aerosol expert Juergen Burkhardt (University of Bonn, Germany); expert on acid-tolerant microorganisms Olga V. Golyshina (Bangor University, UK); and atmospheric physicist and planetary scientist Javier Martin-Torres (the University of Aberdeen, the UK). (IANS/KB)